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Enduro elites to go underground in Koroška

Ljubljana, 22 June - Global enduro elites will descend on the northern Koroška region in the coming days as the first Enduro World Series event in this part of Europe gets under way. A total of 400 mountain bikers will have to take on the slopes as well as tunnels of a Slovenian-Austrian border mountain in the two-day race.

Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

The Black Hole Enduro will see bikers working up a sweat going up the mountain only to turn around and get their skills tested in downhill twists and turns of some of the longest stages in the history of the series, the Enduro World Series website reads.

The cross-border event with six stages will be one of the most diverse to date. Not only will the bikers have to take on the slopes of Mt Peca, or Petzen in German, and the surrounding hills, they will also have to brave the tunnels of the abandoned Mežica lead and zinc mine to get from one stage to another.

Of all the bikers who will compete in the race, 250 have been invited based on their previous results, 150 got into the event through a lottery, and another 100 will engage in a shorter version of the race.

Vid Peršak, a 22-year-old local, is the only Slovenian biker to have had his place in the race guaranteed, while several other Slovenian racers also got into the event.

It is a demanding challenge that only the most versatile, persistent and skilled mountain bikers can take on, organiser Anej Štrucl has said.

The race will be held on 30 June and 1 July as part of the traditional mountain biking festival in Jamnica, the Black Hole Bike Fest, which starts on Saturday.

On Sunday, riders will get the first chance to get to know the Peca underground as part of a marathon race.

There will be various events throughout the week, including a special Dig Day on Monday, at which pro riders will help enthusiasts with tips about building enduro trails.

Kids will have their own day on Wednesday, just before the training sessions for the main event start on Thursday.

© STA, 2018